Tonight D went on his first hunting trip and I have to admit, at first I was a little miffed that I had to be alone...again. All of the nightly "to do's" fall on me a lot since he has tons of meetings and various obligations with the church. Most of the time, I'm fine with it and know that it is just part of my service to him and to our children. But, I DO have those nights when being alone gets to me and tonight was just one of them! Anyhow, about halfway through cooking supper, I just felt the Lord speak to my heart that basically this night had all of the potential to be a great time alone with the girls, but that it all depended on my attitude. Was I going to huff and puff around my kitchen feeling sorry for myself, or was I going to suck it up and initiate a pleasant night with my kids? Well, when God speaks in that still small voice, the right choice suddenly becomes illuminated like an airport runway and my choice was clear. I decided to "suck it up" quickly, then and there.
The girls and I ate dinner around the table (on our new placemats from the educational store, I might add...anything to help foster learning around here!). We made silly faces at each other, talked about what my grandmother was like, experimented with our food, and just laughed and enjoyed each other. As I was telling S how my grandmother used to sit me on the counter and let me help her cook, I got an idea! "S, do you want to help Mommy make a blueberry cobbler?" I asked. Well, of course she did! So she and I headed to the kitchen and whipped it together. Her expressions as I let her mix and pour were priceless! I even promised S she could stay up a little later so that she could try the cobbler, which would be ready in an hour. Boy, was she excited!
The girls and I then read books together. I rocked K and sang to her for a little while as S played quietly in the den. I put K down a little early since she was exhausted from our busy day out and about. Earlier, when I had taken S to gymnastics, K and I had gone shopping. We then went back to get S, only to leave and do MORE shopping (groceries) afterwards. Needless to say, K went to sleep quickly!
Not too much time passed and finally, the cobbler was ready. S danced around the kitchen as I took it out and she could hardly wait to taste what we had made! Well, one bite and that did it...she was in love. I made us two little bowls full with ice cream on top and we went to the dining room to eat it...just she and I around our big ol' table. We resumed talking and laughing. I talked about my grandmother some more. She talked about how good the cobbler was (LOL)! I then decided to ask S what her favorite part of the day was. I don't know why, but it popped in my head as yet another conversation starter with my beautiful little girl. As S sat and thought through the day, I was just SURE that she would say "gymnastics". She has only been taking lessons for about 4 weeks and man, does she love it. They do really neat stuff all the time and she just has a grin on her face from one end to the other the whole time she is there. Today was even "backwards" day and all the kids had worn their clothes backwards to class. We also went shopping today for some Fall clothes, so I figured she might say that. My girly-girl loves to shop. Well, as I continued to try to guess in my mind her answer, she suddenly said, "Now".
"Now is my favorite part of today."
I was quiet for a minute and my eyes immediately started tearing up as the weight of her words hit me like a brick. That, for me, was a completely sobering moment. My child had played and gone to her beloved gymnastics. She had done "fun" stuff all day, but for her to say that her favorite part was just to be with me was overwhelming. It was indeed sobering. It was eye-opening. It will be a memory treasured in my heart as our Lord's mother, Mary, kept treasures in hers. A heart-treasure.
So my precious S has reminded me once again what really matters. It's funny how kids have an uncanny way of doing that. Sometimes I get so busy that I don't even notice that I'm busy. I don't even realize that I'm not really "being there" for my girls even though I am with them almost 24-7. And oh, being a mother is about soooooo much more than being there. It's so much more than snack-time, pouring juice, and making sure diapers are changed. It's about investing your whole self into the precious little gifts that God has given!! They don't get so much of "me" when I'm just being the maid and waiting on them. They get "me" in the times that I stop.
So, I'm thankful for my sobering night. I'm thankful that I listened to that still small voice that gave me a much-needed attitude adjustment. And, I'm thankful for a little girl who speaks volumes if I will take the time to listen. I'm praying for God to remind me daily to simply stop. I pray that He will graciously remind you as well.